Local tourism booming
THE benefits of a recent Mon Repos promotional push in South-East Queensland has already shown its worth, with a 15% increase on last year in tourism bookings taken in November.
Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism general manager James Corvan said the results were encouraging and the true benefits of “turtle tourism” were still being revealed.
“Operators have been doing quite a bit of marketing in South-East Queensland,” Mr Corvan said.
“We’ve targeted that market and there certainly has been a big promotion of the turtles this year.”
Mr Corvan said advertising for the region had reached new heights, with appearances in the Qantaslink in-flight magazine, television coverage and other publications.
“Our hook is the turtles — and a very good hook, with so many people now interested in eco-tourism,” he said.
“It’s something that can introduce people to other great things in the area.”
He said it was a bonus the turtle season coincided with the average’s person’s off-season, and that increased the chances of families from out of the area visiting.
“It’s a great family destination and that’s a huge market,” Mr Corvan said.
He said the recent publicity brought to Mon Repos by “best job in the world” winner Ben Southall — including a visit that was recorded by National Geographic — further boosted its profile.
Mr Corvan said there were still some vacancies in central Bundaberg due to business travellers taking time out, but Bargara accommodation had virtually sold out between last month and the end of February.
Manta apartments manager Maegan Shuttleworth echoed Mr Corvan’s comments, confirming her business was fully booked over the festive break.
She said many had come from Brisbane and the Gold Coast this year, to “get away from the hustle and bustle and to chill out”.
“It really helps that the turtles are going so strong,” she said.
“We usually get busy at this time of year, and there’s been many families booking.”
Like many others overlooking the Bargara coastline, Manta offers what many tourists come to the region to enjoy — beautiful views and great weather.